Mark Twain: The World’s First Blogger

Mark Twain: The World’s First Blogger

Well, obviously he wasn’t. But had writer Samuel Clemens been born 175 years later, he would have ruled the blogosphere. His content was truly evergreen. His engaging, conversational writing style is also probably the most effective voice for creating a readable, sharable blog.

Perhaps you envision a more professional style, for information that is either more technical or educational. Depending upon your audience, shifting into a slightly more informal style can result in more likes and shares—because they’ll read it.

Here’s one example of the perfect headline, Mark Twain style:

“The secret to getting ahead is getting started.” 

Any of the world’s top influencers could have written that statement, with millions of likes and shares. After all, it is true.

I can relate to this one, deeply:

“We write frankly and fearlessly but then we “modify” before we print.” 

Every writer needs an editor. It’s just a fact of life. That’s why every piece we create has been scrutinized and then modified by our editor.

In pondering Mark Twain’s enduring success, I decided to list out what I believe are the actual factors involved in writing evergreen content:

  1. Be yourself. That’s the only you will ever come across as original.
  2. Write a lot. It probably takes in the range of thousands of pages before you hit your stride.
  3. Talk to the reader directly. If you want to engage, you have to know who you are talking to, and what landed them on your page, and what they are trying to find out. Answer up.
  4. Don’t rehash. There are always fresh ideas, and they come from your own personal experience, viewpoint, and imagination.

Rather than expounding endlessly on the complex subject of googlebots, indexing, ranking strategies, and how to correctly optimize (which we do, by the way), I wanted to mention that a direct, clean style (à la Mark Twain) is more likely to engage, and then conquer.